Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Stupid or Not?

            It was Forrest Gump who introduced me to the statement “Stupid is as stupid does.”   This saying is apparently a variation of “Pretty is as pretty does” or “Handsome is as handsome does.” The latter saying is ancient and can be traced to the 14th Century, but it also appears in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” and in Herman Melville’s “Billy Budd.” All the sayings mean basically the same thing: Judge people by their actions and not how they look

            It is impolite as well as politically incorrect to call anyone “stupid,” but it must be okay to call ideas stupid. Walter E. Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University, says that “Many stupid ideas originate with academics on college campuses. If they remained there and didn’t infect the rest of society, they might be a source of entertainment, much in the way a circus is.” He shares “a few stupid ideas peddled by intellectuals.”

During the Cold War, academic leftists made a moral equivalency between communist totalitarianism and democracy.

Worse is the fact that they exempted communist leaders from the type of harsh criticism directed toward Adolf Hitler, even though communist crimes against humanity made Hitler’s slaughter of 11 million noncombatants appear almost amateurish.

According to Professor R. J. Rummel’s research in “Death by Government,” from 1917 until its collapse, the Soviet Union murdered or caused the death of 61 million people, mostly its own citizens.

From 1949 to 1976, Communist China’s Mao Zedong regime was responsible for the death of as many as 78 million of its own citizens.

            Williams continues his post by stating that intellectuals are now saying that communism and capitalism are basically equal. He asks which countries people are fleeing from – communist or capitalist, and which countries are people fleeting to – capitalist or communist. The idea that the two governmental systems are equal is “stupid.”

            Moving on to other areas where ideas could be considered “stupid,” Williams discusses the idea that multiculturalism and diversity is a cause for celebration.

If one is black, brown, yellow, or white, the prevailing thought is that he should take pride and celebrate that fact even though he had nothing to do with it.

The multiculturalist and diversity crowd seems to suggest that race or sex is an achievement. That’s just plain nonsense.

In my book, race or sex might be an achievement, worthy of considerable celebration, if a person were born a white male and through his effort and diligence became a black female.

            A third idea that Williams considers “stupid” is white privilege. He says that there is even a course titled “Abolition of Whiteness” at one college. He discusses why “white privilege” can be considered a stupid idea.

According to academic intellectuals, whites enjoy advantages that nonwhites do not. They earn higher income and reside in better housing, and their children go to better schools and achieve more. Based upon those socio-economic statistics, Japanese-Americans have more white privilege than white people….

Leftists should get rid of the concept of white privilege and just call it achievement.

            Williams states that his daughter has more privilege than most whites. He then considers an idea that apparently does not interest academic intellectuals. At least, they do not say much about it and definitely do not teach it.

Many of our problems, both at our institutions of higher learning and in the nation at large, stem from the fact that we’ve lost our moral compasses and there’s not a lot of interest in reclaiming them.

As a matter of fact, most people don’t see our major problems as having anything to do with morality.

            Williams ends his post with the above statement, but I would like to discuss morality a bit more. When we speak of “morality,” we mean having the ability to distinguish between right and wrong or good and bad behavior. Morality should be taught in the home, and many parents are teaching it. However, many children are never taught morals, and they fall prey to intellectuals who are pushing an agenda and others who take advantage of them.

            Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spoke about the need to “work with good people of other faiths to improve the moral fabric of our communities, nations, and world.” He says that we can help to restore morality to our nation and world by doing three things: (1) Be a righteous example. Practice the principles of honesty, integrity, morality, and service to our fellowmen. (2) Be civil in your discourse and respectful in interacting with others, particularly when we disagree. Practice the golden rule and treat others as we would like to be treated. (3) Be an advocate for morality and religious freedom. He says the following about being an advocate.

This is a time when those who feel accountable to God for their conduct feel under siege by a secular world. You understand the moral principles that are under attack and the need to defend morality. Religious freedom all over the world is also under attack. It is important for us to become well educated on this issue and assume responsibility for ensuring that the religious freedom we have inherited is passed on to future generations. We must work together to both protect religious freedom and restore morality.

            Forest Gump says that “Stupid is as stupid does.” Williams says that many of the problems in society are due to a lack of morality. Cook gives three ways that we as individuals can help restore morality: (1) Walk the talk – be a good example of a moral person. (2) Treat other people with respect. (3) Be an advocate for morality and teach morals to the rising generation.

            Are these ideas stupid? No, they are not. However, we may be considered stupid by future generations if we do not follow the counsel given to restore morality to our society.

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